This itinerary includes: San Cristobal, Genovesa, Santiago, Fernandina, Isabela, Rabida & Santa Cruz Islands
About the vessel:
Yacht Isabela II offers the perfect, intimate space for exploring Darwin’s islands in comfort. Traditionalists will enjoy feeling at home with a crew that has remained almost unchanged for years. The team is proud to provide a seamless experience with special attention to detail that will make your stay extra special. With just 20 guest cabins, the yacht’s convivial atmosphere leads to a close-up experience of this unique part of the world. On board, guests find delicious cuisine, faultless service and excellent facilities, including a Hut Tub, fitness room, bar and outside deck for al fresco meals and sunbathing. Scout the island sites for Big 15 wildlife in groups that average no more than 11-14 guests per naturalist guide which surpass the National Park standard, which permits up to 16 guests per guide. The ship offers a wide variety of aquatic activities including a glass bottom boat, free use of snorkelling equipment and kayaks, wetsuit rental and the use of pangas for shore excursions.
Very early this morning you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Galapagos.
Your Galapagos Cruise include: Accommodation in selected cabin, all meals, island sightseeing, naturalist guides and lecture services in English, snorkelling gear, shared transfers in the islands and from main hotels in Quito and Guayaquil.
Please remember that the exact route and program may vary according to weather and ocean conditions and the wildlife you will encounter.
There are two types of landings throughout your Galapagos tour:
Dry landing: guests disembark the dinghy onto rocks or a dock.
Wet landing: as the dinghy edges onto a sandy beach, guests step into knee-deep water and wade ashore.
Arrive by plane at San Cristobal Island and transfer to Yacht Isabela II for cabin assignment, introductory briefing and lunch.
PM: Cerro Colorado Breeding Centre
After lunch, visit the breeding centre of the highly-endangered giant tortoises in the midst of a fantastic deciduous forest. The centre is home to dozens of bird species and the endemic San Cristobal lava lizard.
Kindly note that soft drinks are not included in Isabela II
AM: Prince Philip’s Steps
You will start your journey navigating overnight to Genovesa Island, crossing the equator on the way. The morning starts with a panga ride along the cliffs of this unique island. After dry landing, join a steep climb until finally reach a flat plateau. Along the way, you will observe large colonies of Nazca Boobies, Red-footed Boobies, great Frigate birds and Storm Petrels.
The coastal exploration along the cliffs (depending on weather conditions) will let you see more wildlife, including the Galapagos Fur Seals. You can also enjoy snorkelling and kayaking.
PM: Darwin Bay
This afternoon, land at the beach for an easy stroll observing hundreds of birds, namely; Frigate birds, Red-footed and Nazca Boobies, Gulls, Herons, Finches and Mockingbirds. There’s an optional walk over a sharp and uneven lava terrain with dramatic views. Otherwise you may choose to return to the beach and enjoy snorkelling at this beautiful natural harbour.
AM: Buccaneer Cove
After breakfast, enjoy a coastal exploration along the impressive cliffs of Buccaneer’s Cove. You will learn about the area’s distant and recent history. The cove is home to a large number of marine birds, Sea Lions, and inter-tidal organisms. You will see fantastic natural formations such as the “The Bishop” and an impressive natural cave. This is a great site for snorkelling too or ride the glass-bottom boat.
PM: Puerto Egas
This is a wonderful opportunity to spot land and marine birds amidst a landscape of tuff-stone layers and lava flows. At low tide, Marine Iguanas graze upon the algae beds and you can also observe a colony of Fur Seals. Back at the beach where you land, there are very good snorkelling and swimming spots.
AM: Punta Espinoza
In the morning, visit the youngest island of the archipelago, Fernandina. Punta Espinoza. The island has an amazing combination of barrenness and abundant wildlife. Highlights include hawks, penguins, flightless cormorants, and some of the densest colonies of marine iguanas. Snorkelling here usually bring unexpected marine encounters.
PM: Tagus Cove
Across the narrow Bolivar Channel, anchor at this cove on the Northwest of Isabela. It provided a favourite anchorage for pirates and whalers over the centuries. An uphill hike takes you to the rim of Darwin Crater, filled with salt water and to a dramatic viewpoint. After your walk, take a panga ride to spot local wildlife, including some Galapagos penguins with the possibility of swimming, kayaking or snorkelling.
AM: Urbina Bay
After breakfast, disembark at Urbina Bay, the result of an uplifting of the ocean floor in 1954. Here you can find corals, shells and many other calcareous organisms exposed above water. This area is also home to large and very colourful Galapagos Land Iguanas and occasionally to Giant Tortoises. Along the shoreline, after the hike, you may encounter Flightless Cormorants and see Penguins while snorkelling.
PM: Punta Vicente Roca
Since there is no landing site at this location, the coastal exploration is by skiff while naturalists explain the dramatic geology of the area. You find remains of lava flows and tuff stone layers here. There is abundant wildlife and depending on the conditions of the ocean you’ll be able to snorkel along the cliffs. Possibly you will be in company of green Sea Turtles and Penguins. Later on, join your Naturalist Guide on the Expedition plan for Sunday followed by dinner.
AM: Rabida Island
In the morning, disembark at Rabida Island’s red-coloured each. A stroll allows you to observe a large colony of Sea Lions, Marine Iguanas, Mockingbirds, Yellow Warblers, and several species of Darwin’s Finches. This is a great place to snorkel from the beach. You can also enjoy a panga ride, kayaking or ride in our glass-bottom boat.
PM: Cerro Dragon
The north shore of Santa Cruz hosts Cerro Dragón (Dragon Hill). Your walk includes circling a salt water lagoon frequented by various birds including Ducks, Stilts and some few Flamingos. Further inland, the trail takes us to the nesting area of Land Iguanas, offering a beautiful view of the bay and the western islands of the archipelago.
Your journey ends at Baltra Island where you will be transferred to the airport to take the flight back to the mainland.